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Netherport on Tour - GWSG open day 29 June

I've decided it's time to take a stand!     Well, a table and a display stand, at the Great Western Study Group open day, in Didcot on the 29th June. I'll be bring along some of the rolling stock that has featured in this blog, and one or two 'work in progress' items. If you are within striking distance of Didcot and can make the date, please come along to see Netherport's wagons 'IRL' (as the young folks say).   For more information, and to find out what else will

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Netherport and Basuto Quay - the backstory

Discussion of my layout plan for Basuto Quay on its dedicated thread led to the suggestion that it would be helpful if I said a bit more about the backstory to the Netherport idea, so here it is.   Branch line to Netherport Netherport is a fictional coastal town on the Dorset coast, roughly where the real-world Bridport and West Bay are located. The Netherport concept involves an alternative geography, replacing the area between, roughly, Yeovil and the coast with new towns, river

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Basuto Quay - track layout

In the previous post, I set out the ideas behind Basuto Quay, and showed a 3D virtual model of the plans so far. The model does not show the track layout, but is based on a layout that has been worked out on a 2D plan, which is the focus of this post.   Here is the plan:     To put this in context, here is the annotated 3D model again:     The rolling stock is shown on the plan to give a sense of scale, and to ensure things will fit - the plan

Introducing Basuto Quay

The concept   I have mentioned on this blog and elsewhere on the forum the concept for Netherport: a fictional port on the Dorset coast, roughly where the real Bridport/West Bay is, with a GWR terminus, set in 1908. I imagine Netherport to be an established port, with coastal and cross-channel traffic, and a growing role as a seaside resort, and as an alternative route to northern France and on to Paris via Cherbourg.   This concept has developed over time, as I gradually wor

GWR Ballast wagon (diagram P4)

This diagram P4 ballast wagon was an eBay purchase, cheaply bought as a 'fixer-upper'. It's built from the PECO (ex Websters) kit, and the original builder had made a reasonable job of construction. The paint finish wasn't great, with a fair amount of dust in it, and the brake gear was smashed:     The first job was a good clean up, and remove the broken brake gear and couplings - the buffer rams had to stay in place, as the retaining parts on the rear of the rams were very

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Norway poles

There is a photograph in Jim Russell's book 'GWR Wagons Appendix' that shows a wagon loaded with long, thin conifer tree-trunks, of the kind referred to as 'Norway poles'. For some time I have wanted to model a similar load.   The wagon itself has been described in this blog before, and has a rather chequered history. Amongst other issues, I put washer plates on the inside, corresponding to the attachment points for the sheet supporter mechanism at each end. I was following the RCH dra

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LNWR 4-plank wagon (diagram 84)

I have just finished making an LNWR 4-plank open, to diagram 84. This was meant to be a "quickie", as a relaxing diversion following the complexities of the horsebox and before getting my teeth into a brake van. However, it has taken three months - partly due to a lack of modelling time recently, and partly because it turned out to be a bit more involved than I had expected. The starting point was the ABS whitemetal kit. My first impression was - it's enormous. The prototype was 18 feet ove

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GWR Horsebox N4 - part 3

In this post I describe the roof and lighting for my diagram N4 GWR horsebox, following previous posts detailing the build process for the underframe and body.   Before getting into the nitty-gritty of the construction, I want to say a few things about why I chose to light the interior of the horsebox. My plan is to be able to run Netherport, when it is finally built, in night mode - or, more accurately, dusk mode: the last light in the sky, lamps starting to be lit in buildings, and o

GWR Horsebox N4 - part 2

Continuing from my previous post, this time I describe building the body of the horsebox, including the groom's compartment interior. The main etches for the body are in two parts, each with a side and an end, to be folded up to make two 'L' shape pieces. There are overlays for the sides of the compartment and the ends, to create the different layers of panelling.   The first stage was to put on the overlays, and then add all the details such as hinges, door strapping, and so on:

GWR Horsebox N4 - part 1

Well, it's been a while since the last post...   It's not that I haven't been doing any modelling, it's just that this horsebox has been a bit of an epic, as you will see. I'll describe the build in three parts:     the underframe     the body, including the interior     the roof and lighting. It's worth noting that I worked on each of the three sub-assemblies in parallel, so this won't be a completely chronological account of the build, but hopefully it wi

MERG DCC Controller

The build of the fitted iron mink, featured in my last post, is progressing rather slowly - a combination work projects, being away for a week or so, and the current heat. The room that serves as both my home office and modelling room is in our loft conversion, and gets very hot in the current kind of weather, which rather puts me off doing anything. So, to fill the gap before the mink is finished so I can write part 2 of that post, I thought I would share some pictures and notes on the DCC cont

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GWR Iron Mink - fitted for passenger train working (part 1)

The iron covered goods wagon, codename 'Mink', is a familiar, perhaps even iconic, feature of the GWR from 1886 onwards. Less well known is the small number of vehicles built with a standard iron mink body but passenger-rated running gear, akin to that of horse boxes of the time. Details can be found in the HMRS publication All About GWR Iron Minks by JH Lewis et al., which has a drawing and a couple of photographs.   Originally intended for use on branch line passenger services, they

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Private owner wagon 'Hunt & Son'

A PO wagon with a difference, in two ways: the livery is fictional, and it wasn't built by me, but by my father, Bill.   The underframe is Slaters, and the body is scratch-built in plasticard. The lettering is hand-painted using - if I remember correctly - Humbrol enamels.   Dad spent most of his career as an airline navigator, flying long-haul, which meant he would often be away for a week or more. In the early days he enjoyed seeing the many places he flew to and socia

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GWR 1-plank (part 2)

So this is where I left it last time - the basics of the underframe, running gear and body complete, but a lot of detail to go:     Detailing on the sides and solebars came mainly from Ambis etches. The document box is an ABS casting, and the horse hook is a piece of wire for the loop, and plasticard for the base.     The bolt ends on the underframe are from plastic rod as before, including the strap bolts that pass through the headstock. I am not aware of

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GWR 1-plank (part 1)

This wagon is a 'first' in two respects: it is my first wagon with Scaleseven wheels - though it didn't start that way - and it is my first scratch-built wagon in 7mm scale (and for at least 30 years...). The build was also at several points an object lesson in why one shouldn't assume, as we will see.     If it is a scratch-build, where to start? There's not kit to work from, respond to or rebel against. There are not, as far as I know, detailed drawings for these 1-plank wa

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Wagon Wheels - a beauty contest (and an annoucement)

[There is quite a lot of back-story to this post - feel free to skip to the bit about wheels if you want just the nitty gritty!]   Like many modellers, I suspect, I spend time pondering what my priorities are, what I want from my hobby, and how to get the most satisfaction within the constraints of time, money, space, skills, and so on. This post then, is not about something I have already made, presented as a piece of 'finished' work. Rather, it's about why I am here and where I am go

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Private owner wagon 'United'

This time I am returning to that ubiquitous item of the early 20th century railway, the private owner coal wagon - in this case, a 6-plank end-door type built by Gloucester RCW, in the livery of 'United' collieries. The model is of course the familiar Slaters kit, and so is very similar to a build to the 'Ocean' wagon I have posted about previously:     The big difference with this one is that it is empty, not loaded, so there is full interior detailing needed, and that is the fo

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GWR 4-plank with sheet supporter and sheet

What's that you say? Another GWR 4-planker? Haven't you had enough of those? Well, if you're sure...     This is 41211, freshly turned out in 1908 style: grey paint with 25" lettering, axleboxes upgraded to oil types, and a sheet supporter fitted. All the latest features of a truly modern merchandise wagon of the new century, in fact - Swindon has played its A-game. Not so, unfortunately, the folks who have loaded it. The rather filthy sheet has been put on crooked, obscuring

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GWR 2-plank open wagon

The GWR adopted iron, and later steel construction for underframes quite early, compared to most other railway companies. For reasons of variety and aesthetics, I wanted to have a mix of wooden and metal underframed wagons, and my 1908 period was partly chosen for this reason - there were still a few GWR wooden underframed wagons around.     One such is this 2-plank open, built from the WEP etched brass kit. Overall, it is a nice kit, and I built it pretty much as intended, b

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GWR Loco coal wagon (diagram N13)

Locos need coal. I haven't started building the loco stock I will need for Netherport, but I thought I would get ahead by building a loco coal wagon.     Slaters offer a kit for a 10T example, which claims to be a diagram N13 - ideal for my 1908 period. However, there are some significant issues with the kit, most notably that it has square corners with riveted angle-iron reinforcement, while the prototype had round corners with no reinforcement. Later types had square corner

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LSWR 3-plank dropside with brick load

You will be pleased to know it isn't all GWR 4-plank wagons here...   Netherport's imagined location on the Dorset coast is in LSWR territory as much as GWR, so any non-GWR wagons being seen at Netherport are more likely to be LSWR than anything else. Looking at the local geology, it seems the nearest area with clay suitable for brick-making would be to the east of Netherport, and served by the LSWR, so this 3-plank open is bringing bricks for construction work in the town.  

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GWR 4-plank with casks

Yet another GWR 4-plank! This time in grey livery, and with a load of large casks:     The wagon itself is a standard Peco kit, which I got on eBay as a 'rescue' wagon - it had been built reasonably well but painted poorly. I scraped most of the paint off the main flat areas, and repaired a partly broken W-iron. I removed the compensated wheel-set in the process, which turned out to be quite useful later on.     I also upgraded a few parts - firstly the da

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Photographing wagons

A couple of people have asked how I photograph the wagons I've been posting about. The 'workbench' shots are done with my iPhone 12 Pro. The Pro version has a slightly telephoto lens, which gives a nicer perspective for close-ups, and means the phone is further away from the thing being photographed, making it easier to get some light in without casting a shadow of the phone or me.   The 'studio' photos of the finished result, against a white background, are a bit more sophisticated. T

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GWR 4-plank with straw load - ABS kit

For my 1908 GWR setting, I can't have too many 4-plank opens - they were around 40% of the revenue-earning fleet. My planned rosta of 20 GWR wagons therefore includes eight 4-plankers, and it is another one of these that is the subject of this post. It differs from the last one in being made from the ABS whitemetal kit (remaining stocks still available from DJ Parkins). It also has a load of straw under a sheet - inspired by Mikkel's similar creation in 4mm scale.     The kit

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GWR Iron Mink - Minerva upgrade

This post covers something a bit different to the previous wagons - not a kit, but an upgrade of the RTR Iron Mink by Minerva.     In many ways, the model is very good as it comes. The detailing is crisp and fine, and overall it captures the feel of the prototype. There are a few weaknesses: the roof on the prototype is sheet metal, so the edge of the overhang is very thin - just the thickness of the metal. The model has the roof moulded in plastic of course, so the roo

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